Monday, March 28, 2011

Jenni James Who?

After months of waiting, I've finally walked from Valor Publishing.
Right as we speak I have multiple publishers/agents interested. I hope to have a new home for The Austen Diaries soon.

For those of you who received ARCs hold onto them! They are of an edition that will never be seen... cover, typeset, everything--it'll all be unique now. Crazy huh?

To show you where I'm at--this is an idea of the query letter I've been dusting off and sending out--if you know of an agent or publisher who might be interested, send them my way!

(it's erm, got a whole lot better the past year or so! lol!)

Dear agent/publisher--

I’ve just walked away from my publisher (retaining all rights for my work) who were going to publish all six books of my series The Austen Diaries within the next few years. Most of these books have already been written and were just waiting for edits. The first book Northanger Alibi was set to be released June 1st of last year, after two more failed release dates I feel I have no choice but to leave my publisher. This book was completely edited and ready for print, including cover, full PDF and endorsement quotes.

Northanger Alibi has already received a lot of attention and many people are anxiously waiting for their copy. While doing marketing for the series, I luckily met one of the buyers for the QVC (Home Shopping Network—90 million customers worldwide—In my opinion that’s better than Oprah;) who was eager to have me live on the show, selling each released book with the original Jane Austen novel as an exclusive QVC bundle. They were hoping to start out small with 5,000 bundles (copies of each) for the show and work their way up as more books were released and I come back.

Last year I was tentatively scheduled to appear on the show in September and November gearing for fourth quarter sales. Due to the lack of books, I’ve nearly lost this contract—but my contact has been nothing but patient with me and has agreed to put gears into motion and hopefully get me on the show for this year’s fourth quarter sales. I just need a publisher.

This series has also seen interest from both Hollywood film and television producers, I’m not sure what progress has been made with either of these—since my publisher rarely answers emails at the moment. (Extreme medical emergencies have not allowed for much time to communicate.)

I’m a mom of seven children who is married to an Air Force recruiter. We’ve moved back to the States after living the past nine years overseas in England and Portugal. When I’m not chasing my little ones around the house, or writing novels, I direct theater, paint portraits, and throw elaborate parties.

To date I’ve written nine complete YA and MG books—all of which have received publisher interest. Aside from The Austen Diaries, I’ve also coauthored: Eternity an epic romance novel with author AJ Cole, from the UK (early 2012 UK release); an MG book Prince Tennyson; an MG (from a TV screenplay) The Blog of Chloe Watkins; and a children’s book (contracted through the same TV screenplay) Gentle Jasmine. With many more works to come!

The Austen Diaries:

BOOK ONE: Northanger Alibi--Seattle Washington, and the Russo family, are no match for Claire Hart and her savvy knowledge of all things vampire related. Thanks to her obsession with the Twilight series--if there is anyone who would know a vampire when she saw one, it's Claire. And she's positive totally hot Tony Russo is a vampire, she just has to prove it! Follow Claire's hilarious journey on her first summer adventure away from home, where she learns everything isn't what it seems, and in some instances, reality is way better than anything she'd ever find in a book!

I knew from the beginning that Northanger Abbey would be my biggest challenge to rewrite. Since it is the most unfamiliar/unread of all the Austen books. I love it! I think it is extremely funny and a complete satire of the Gothic novels that were popular at the time. To modernize this, I needed to base my story off of massively popular modern gothic novels. Enter the Twilight Series, by Stephenie Meyer.

BOOK TWO: Pride & Popularity Chloe Elizabeth Hart has found she cannot abide the conceited antics of the popular crowd. –Or more importantly, one very annoying self-possessed guy, Taylor Anderson, who is determined to make her the president of his fan club! As if! Every girl in the whole city ofFarmington, New Mexico is in love with Taylor, but he seems to be only interested in her.

BOOK THREE: Persuaded What if the one guy you loved--more than anyone--happened to be the same guy you flung aside and broke his heart, four years ago? And what if he happened to waltz back into your life again and be hotter than ever and worth millions? And what if every gorgeous girl who saw him fell madly in love with him? Would he take you back--or would he fling you aside like you deserved?

BOOK FOUR: Emmalee Emmalee Bradford has everything; beauty, wealth, popularity, and a family that loves her. What more could she want? Join Emma on a hilarious journey where she learns that she may think she has control of the world around her, but in all reality she is just as clueless as the rest of us!

BOOK FIVE: Mansfield Ranch (Partially finished) All Lilly Price had ever known was living in the shadow of her widely successful adoptive family. Until a twist of fate deals Lilly the hand of the most popular guy in Bloomfield--instantly, everything flips upside down. Now she must choose between the unavailable love of her life--or the guy who promises to be available forever.

BOOK SIX: Sensible & Sensational (Dream state)

Marketing wise I am able to tap into several different groups—

Mormon—yes, I’m part of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, whose incredible word of mouth abilities have helped launch the careers of: Stephenie Meyer, Brandon Sanderson, Brandon Mull, Obert Skye, Aprilynne Pike, Jessica Day George, Janette Rallison, James Dashner, Tracy Hickman, Orson Scott Card and many, many more.

Jane Austen Fan Clubs--I’m rewriting all six of the Jane Austen novels for a YA series--something that has never been done before. The JA fans are worldwide and many have already expressed interest in these works.

Twilight Fans—The first book is a satire of Twilight. Twilightmoms (over 1 million fans) are already eager to endorse it, as is their sister book review site: Eve’s Garden.

Military—newspapers, magazines, overseas bookstores worldwide. I also have friends everywhere who would be glad to host me all over the world for signings, public speaking, etc.

Mommy Clubs--people seem to think it is some small miracle I'm able to raise 7 children and do all I do. My story inspires many young mothers to follow their dreams.

I am active on Twitter (over 1k followers), facebook, blog, goodreads, kindleboards, authonomy, and have my own personal website that I update regularly.

I was also a professional actress for many years and now a professional children’s theater director—public speaking (either for adults or children/teens) is not a problem for me. In fact, it is a passion of mine--sharing what I love and inspiring others to follow their dreams.

I’m extremely driven and something of a powerhouse. I know these books will make it—and make it big—I just want the right home for them. --A place where they understand and love Jane Austen as much as I do. Below, I've copied the endorsement quotes collected for Northanger Alibi and I have attached the full PDF and word doc versions.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Best Wishes--

Jenni James




Praise for Northanger Alibi--

"Twilight obsessed teens (and their moms) will relate to Claire's longing for the fantastical but will be surprised when they find the hero is even better than a vampire or werewolf. Hilarious, fun and romantic!"

“Stephenie Meyer meets Jane Austen in this humorous, romantic tale of a girl on a mission to find her very own Edward Cullen. I didn't want it to end!" --Mandy Hubbard, author of Prada & Prejudice

"We often speak of Jane Austen's satiric wit, her social commentary, her invention of the domestic novel. But Jenni James, in this delicious retelling of Northanger Abbey, casts new light on Austen's genius in portraying relationships and the foibles of human nature--in this case, the projection of our literary fantasies onto our daily experience." --M.M. Bennetts, author of May 1812.

"With so many YA fantasy books to choose from, Northanger Alibi reminds us in comical, relatable ways that mythical creatures aren't always what they're cracked up to be and real boys can be even better."--Eve'

"Author Jenni James captures the emotions, stresses and [imaginings] of teenager Claire Hart as she compares her dream vacation in Seattle, Washington to her favorite book Twilight, finding similarities that couldn’t possibly be just coincidences.

Northanger Alibi will have you laughing out loud at Claire’s observations and dramatic responses. In a world where every teen girl is looking for her “Edward” or depressed because [she] can’t live on Pandora, Claire’s coming-of-age story is both timely and refreshing." --Amanda Washington, author of Rescuing Liberty

“Northanger Alibi by Jenni James is one of the best new young adult books of the year. Bringing together the lost beauty and drama of Jane Austen’s novels with the hip teen culture of today. Absolutely wonderful and addictive... Ms. James characters are endearing and the story flows beautifully off the page and into the mind of the reader.” --Brynna Curry, author of Earth Enchanted- Elemental Magic Series Book One

"Easily the most authentic new voice in YA literature, combines powerful imagination, sublime dialogue and intricate characterization to excellent effect. Austen just got a new attitude and relevance that makes this essential reading for the modern generation." --Drew Cross, author of BiteMARKS

I couldn't wait to find out what happened next in this lighthearted and entertaining read by Jenni James. I fell in love with Claire and Tony the same way I fell in love with Edward and Bella in Twilight. Northanger Alibi has all the ingredients of a great love story.--Greta Gunselman,


  1. I wish you so much luck!! I preordered my book over a year ago, and cannot wait to get my hands on a hardbound copy!!

  2. I'm so sorry things didn't work out with your publisher! I wish you so much luck! I've been waiting patiently to read Northanger Alibi, and hopefully it will get picked up so I can read it soon! Good luck with everything, and I honestly believe you will get your books to a great new home. :)

  3. Hi Jenni!
    Since you're looking to query agents you might want to look at KT Literary and the Nelson Literary Agency. They are both in Denver, CO and deal with middle grade and YA fiction. They also both have really informative and funny blogs that, if nothing else, you should definitely check out. On the Nelson Agency blog there have been two posts about different editors giving a specific list of the types of books that they are looking for, so maybe one of yours will fall into one of their categories. Good luck!!